The Food and Drug Administration is implementing a new Nutrition Facts Label for packaged foods. The new label now separates "added sugars" from "total sugars". Previously, both were grouped under “sugars”, so it was difficult to tell how much added sugar you were eating compared to the naturally occurring sugars found in foods. With this new information, choosing healthier foods and managing your diabetes or prediabetes will be even easier.
Science tells us that sugar does not cause diabetes. Eating too much added sugars can mean missing out on healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables, and not getting enough essential vitamins and minerals. It’s also difficult to stay within a reasonable number of daily calories. A high calorie diet can result in weight gain, making it more difficult to manage your diabetes or prediabetes.
When you decrease the amount of added sugars in your diet, you may notice:
- It's easier to maintain or lose weight
- Improved blood glucose levels
- Less processed foods that have no nutritional value in your diet
- Easier to include healthier foods like fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy
Having diabetes or prediabetes doesn't mean you can't indulge your sweet tooth now and then within a healthy eating plan. Check out these quick and easy tips, brought to you by Equal, about how you can reduce added sugars in your meal plan.
1. Swap your toast and jelly for a combination of healthy fats and protein, like an egg cracked into an avocado and baked.
2. Use the bold flavors of extracts and spices to compensate for less sweetness. Sugar substitutes are also a great alternative.
3. Swap your bottled coffee for homemade, cold-brewed coffee so you can control how it's sweetened. Bonus: one batch can last all week!
4. Look for salad dressings with 0-2 grams of sugar per serving, or make your own using oil and vinegar.
5. Many full-calorie sodas contain lots of sugar in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. Try zero-calorie sparkling water instead.
6. Make your own smoothies instead of buying premade. Tasty tip: berries and melons are lower in carbs than other fruits and high in fiber.
7. Use fruit to sweeten drinks like lemonade and iced tea.
8. Prepared pasta sauce can have a surprising amount of sugar. Whip up your own using canned tomatoes and fresh herbs.
9. Yogurt can have 15 grams of sugar or more per serving! Choose plain yogurt with 5 grams of sugar or less, then jazz it up with fresh fruit.
10. Use unsweetened applesauce in place of maple syrup on pancakes and waffles.
Quick and easy tips brought to you by Equal
Click here to view these tips in Spanish.